The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is looking at more rate hikes in the next few meetings, said Governor Shaktikanta Das in an interview with CNBC TV18 on Monday, adding that the the central bank will also release a new inflation forecast at its June meeting.
“Expectations for higher rates are a no brainer and policymakers are aiming to remove a liquidity overhang,” he said adding that the RBI will not allow a runaway depreciation of the rupee.
Inflation above the 6% upper range for four straight months prompted the central bank to raise rates in a surprise meet earlier this month. In a surprise move, RBI hiked the repo rate by 40 basis points (bps) to 4.4%, and is expected to increase the key lending rates again in the June meeting of the MPC which is scheduled for June 6-8.
“We have entered another phase of coordinated action between fiscal and monetary authorities to check inflation,” Das said in the interview, adding that the measures would have a sobering impact on consumer prices.
The Governor added that fiscal and monetary authorities were working in co-ordination to control inflation which has stayed well above the central bank’s mandated target band of 2-6%.
India’s retail inflation accelerated to an eight-year high in April, remaining above the central bank’s tolerance limit for a fourth month in a row, and is likely to stay elevated.
In addition, the central bank earlier this month also raised the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 50 basis points to 4.5% to suck out ₹85,000 crore of excess liquidity from the banking system. Despite the rate hike, the monetary policy committee decided to continue with its accommodative policy stance while focusing on the withdrawal of accommodation.